What exactly is a content brand? In a nutshell, it’s exactly what it sounds like—a strategy that governs how your organization plans to position itself as a valuable content provider. The thinking is that, by gradually building a content brand, you can churn out more focused content and achieve better results. This doesn’t sit well with me.
The next time you have a free moment, take your latest piece of written content and cover up your company name. Without it, can you still tell that the material is written about your company? Or could it apply to any one of your competitors?
Information becomes content when it adds value to the customer experience. The best way to do this? Show – don’t tell. As a leader in your field, the best way to create valuable content is to showcase your talents, proprietary knowledge or expertise. Here are a few ways to do that:
1) Offer insight
Sure, that report laden with raw data makes sense to you, but chances are it’s just a bunch of numbers to your clients. Offering context, and explaining why the data is important to your clients’ business, is a great way to illustrate the value of your expertise.
2) Boil it down
Sometimes the most valuable content is that which breaks down a complicated topic into laymen’s terms. We’re not talking about “dumbing it down” – we’re talking about writing for your audience. Not only does this help your clients better understand the topic at hand, but it shows that you’re approachable and you know what you’re talking about.
3) Pick a side
If you have an opinion about an industry-related topic, don’t be afraid to share it with your audience. The most share-worthy content is that which evokes some sort of emotion. If clients (or potential clients) agree with you, they’ll appreciate an article that articulates their thoughts. If they disagree, they might be motivated to leave a comment and start a discussion. Basically, as long as your opinion is factually based, you really can’t lose.
Want to learn more content-generating tips? Download our free report, Feeding the Content Beast.
When it comes to generating new content, many businesses tend to reinvent the wheel rather than work with what they already have. Chances are, if you’ve been writing content for a while, your next blog post is already written. Here are a few places you can find it:
1. Old content
The best place to find new content is by reading through content you’ve already written. Particularly popular posts are a good place to start. Try exploring a different angle or updating outdated information.
2. Larger materials
A whitepaper doesn’t only have one purpose. Break it down into smaller chunks, pull out some interesting statistics, grab a quote or two and you have enough blog posts, newsletter articles, tweets and Facebook updates to last you for a while. An added bonus? All that material can link back to the original whitepaper.
3. The stockpile
If you have time to sit down to write a blog post, try to write a second one with a longer shelf life. Building a content reserve can come in handy – and save you when you just can’t find a decent story idea. If you’re not that organized, however, the comments of previous blog posts are also a great place to find ideas.
Want to find out more? Download our free report, Feeding the Content Beast.
One of the most frequent questions we hear from clients relates in one form or another to the dollar ROI from social media. As the industry matures, more data is becoming available to shed light on this question.
A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute examines the current usage of social technologies in four commercial sectors: consumer packaged goods, retail financial services, advanced manufacturing, and professional services. It concludes that the potential value to be unlocked by leveraging these technologies across the four sectors could potentially contribute $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value.
Although the value that can be captured varies from industry to industry, all of them can benefit. The key to success? Creating the conditions for the full and enthusiastic participation of employees.
For the latest information on, and best practices for, Mobile and Social Media marketing follow me on Twitter at Twitter.com/mikerabinovici
Content marketing is gaining an increasingly important role for B2B marketers, and in companies’ overall marketing strategies . Below you will find a link to the 2012 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends survey put together by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.
For purposes of the research, the survey defined content marketing as follows: “Content marketing/custom media (sometimes called custom publishing, custom content, or branded content) is the creation and distribution of educational and/or compelling content in multiple formats to attract and/or retain customers.”
Here are some highlights:
• On average, B2B marketers employ eight different content marketing tactics to achieve their marketing goals.
• 60% report that they plan to increase their spend on content marketing over the next 12 months.
• Marketers, on average, spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing.
Industries with the highest rates of content marketing adoption:
• Professional Services………………………………..94%
• Business Services……………………………………….84%
For a free copy if the report – Click Here
How is your company leveraging content marketing? What results are you experiencing? Leave a comment below or email me at michael at ar-com.com
Founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman, and launched in 2003, LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) has become the dominant Web-based professional networking platform. I’ve been using it and have encouraged clients to do so for some time now. As good as LinkedIn is, it did stumble somewhat by not embracing social media tools and networks fast enough.
This all changed over the last year or so with the integration of a number of social media capabilities into the LinkedIn platform. In my view, these are the most important ones:
1. Twitter (www.twitter.com) – you can now have your Twitter feed automatically appear in your LinkedIn profile as soon as you’ve tweeted
2. Blogging – your blog posts now also get uploaded onto your profile right after they are posted on your blog (this feature is available for a number of blogging platforms, including WordPress and TypePad)
3. Slideshare (www.slideshare.net) – any voice-enabled PowerPoint presentations you’ve uploaded to to SildeShare now appear in your profile as well
These changes are important for a number of reasons. First, they expose more of your brand and content to your LinkedIn professional network. These contacts can now see your tweets and blog posts without having to go elsewhere. Second, they save you a ton of time in that you no longer have to update your LinkedIn profile with content you’ve created elsewhere. Last, by making sure it embraces social media, LinkedIn is taking steps to stay relevant and, in the process, protect the myriad of hours its members have spent in building their profiles and extending their networks.
Video blogging is another of the social media tools we get questions about. “Does it really work?” clients ask. “Can it make a difference to our corporate bottom line?” And so on.
As I am fond of saying, one good example is worth a thousand blog posts. Before reading on, open up a second browser and point it to www.winelibrary.tv. Once there, be prepared for what Jeff Jarvis (author of What Would Google Do?) calls “a jet engine in your face”. “This blast of personality is Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a 32 year-old merchant who has made more than 800 daily wine-tasting shows online – just him, his glass and a spit bucket,” says Jarvis. These are all simply made, easily uploaded, video blog posts.
In doing so, Gary took his New Jersey–based family liquor business from $4 million in revenues just a few years ago to over $60 million a year today. I guess that answers the question I started the post with. These regular video blogs that cost next to nothing to create enjoy a daily audience of 80,000. As Jeff Jarvis points out, this has not only created explosive growth but is also “transforming retail and making it social”. Gary calls himself the “the social media sommelier”. Social business, he says, is the future of our society.
How can you make your business social? How can you leverage all these amazing tools we have at our fingertips to engage your customers and prospects? Please share your comments, thoughts or questions right here.
AR Communications Inc.
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